// FAQ

Why is there an attendee limit?

The last thing we want is an over-crowded, chaotic event with a disappointed audience. We want every ticket holder to experience a food war at its finest, where it’s not necessary to fight tooth and nail to get a bite of who knows what. Let’s leave the fighting to the competitors! Keep in mind, when you factor in the competitors, workers, judges, and the media, the total count can be well over 300!

How are competitors chosen?

It’s a combo of first apply, first entered and recipe variation. For example, if 3 people applied with a macadamia mutton multigrain loaf, we’d have to sadly turn away the 2 hopefuls that applied the latest. But there is always next time. Always! And take comfort in knowing that if you follow our Twitter feed or FB page, there will be plenty of fair warning of applicant start dates for all future events.

Can we enter as a team?

Yes, we allow teams of no more than 2 persons to enter with one collaborative entry. Single competitors may be accompanied by one other person for assistance.

How do I become an official competitor?

When we announce a Call for Competitors, apply by emailing us at . Include your name (or team name), contact info, and brief description of your dish. Space is limited to 20 competitors, so sign up with haste! If you’re quick about it, we’ll send you a confirmation email with your official entry number (peeps will vote for you by this number) and some important info. If all the spots get filled up by the time you apply, we’ll politely and sadly reply as such. But keep in mind that potential drop-outs could mean a spot for you! And there’s always a next time. Always!

I’m ready to compete. How do I prepare for the battle?

You will prepare your dish before the event and bring enough sample-size (approximately 2 small bites) portions for at least 100 people, but you may want to make more. You can expect 200 to 300+ attendees eyeing your dish, and the more you make the more likely more people will taste it and consider your dish when voting! More! More! More!

If the battle calls for a hot dish, you can transfer all that deliciousness to heated pans provided by us. Hot dishes arrive best just-made or just reheated upon arrival, not cold (cooled to room temp is ok). If your dish is sensitive (perfect crumb topping, carefully layered, etc.), feel free to prepare/bring your creation in a 12″ x 20″ x 2.5″ (full size, medium depth) heavy-duty disposable pan. Non-temperature dependent dishes can be served in/on whatever.

My recipe is really “out there.” You got a problem with that?

Hey, we don’t care if your recipe calls for Skittles and spleens, as long as it tastes good and you’re confident it’s a winner. Whether your dish celebrates the traditional or nonconventional, all that matters is that it’s damn tasty!

Who provides plates and utensils?

We supply enough compostable plates, eating utensils, and napkins for everyone. But we do ask that you bring your own serving utensils. *Note: if you’re picky about your food touching other food, you might want to provide some kind of small container to serve into (i.e. compostable souffle cup). This might also be helpful in keeping your portions consistent, but it certainly is not necessary.

What time should I get there?

If you’re competing, you should arrive 30 minutes before the event’s start time. If you’re attending, it’s in your best interest to get there on time. That way you’ll get first dibs and more time to enjoy the company of your fellow eaters!

Can I make my station look extra cool??

Affirmative! Do you use organic ingredients? Local? Seasonal? Is your dish vegetarian? Vegan? Full o’ meats? What else is in it? Beer? Ants? Breast milk?? Don’t be scared to make it obvious! Give your dish a clever name. Make a memorable sign. Wear a sandwich board. Make t-shirts. Unleash your inner creative beast!

Who picks the winners?

The most coveted People’s Choice title, as well as the People’s Choice Honorable Mention, are delegated by ravenous attendees. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be carefully determined by a rotating panel of judges that include local food writers, chefs, bloggers, and other interesting food peoples.

What kind of loot can I win?

Cold, hard ca$h, groceries, gift certificates, and all sorts of wonderful stuff provided by our incredible local sponsors can be yours if you truly are the master of your domain. There’s a People’s Choice, People’s Choice Honorable Mention, Photog’s Choice, Judge’s Prize 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place winner. Don’t forget bragging rights to tout the glorious title of SF Food Wars champion, as well as shelf-worthy trophies and gleaming medals!

Can I buy tickets at the door?

If tickets are leftover from online sales (which hasn’t happened yet), we will sell tickets at the door until our max capacity is reached. Otherwise, we’ll post alerts online when tickets are running low and an announcement when they sell out. A sold out event means we absolutely positively cannot sell tickets to anyone at the door.